Despite the fact that an eviction notice has been served to the owners of legendary New York music venue CBGB, one of its most ardent supporters says there’s still time to fight.
“As that great protest singer Yogi Berra once sang, ‘CBGB ain’t over till it’s over,'” Little Steven Van Zandt writes in an editorial that appears in the Oct. 15 issue of Billboard, which is on newsstands today (Oct. 7).
Stressing that the club remains operational with nightly shows, the E Street Band guitarist-turned-actor, radio host and garage music flag-bearer is asking the music industry’s artists and executives to join the fight with their influence and money.
“One landlord should not be able to take on the entire city, the city’s best interests and the entire rock’n’roll industry, and win,” Van Zandt writes, referring to Muzzy Rosenblatt, executive director of Bowery Residents’ Committee, which owns the building that houses CBGBs. “And right now, he is winning.”
Van Zandt laments that the closure of places like CBGBs, where aspiring musicians can get their start, is part of a bigger trend. “It is not just the music business,” he says. “The problem is infecting our entire society.
“There is no development anymore. No patience. No long-term thinking. The entry-level doorways to our culture are disappearing before our very eyes,” he concludes. “We cannot afford to lose another one.”
Information about the fight to save CBGB can be found at savecbgb.org or undergroundgarage.com.